Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Newbie in PA

  1. #1
    Newbie in training and proud geek Vidiot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    11
    Thanked: 1

    Default Newbie in PA

    Hello everyone ! I have been reading these forums for a while now and decided I really needed to join so I could interact. My wife and I had made lists of 101 things we want to do / accomplish / own before we die. One of the items on my list was that I wanted to learn to shave with a straight razor. The look of the razor has always fascinated me from an early age. About a month or so ago, I decided that was going to be the next on my list to conquer. I started doing some research, and some asking around. To start off, I purchased an inexpensive straight style razor that has the disposable blades. This was mainly because of my budget and I did not want to dive headlong into something that I was not sure was going to last, or be a passing phase. I went ahead and got a badger brush and some cream as well. I have been taking it slow, and getting hooked really fast. I actually can't wait to shave now ! There have been a few times when I have been too anxious and gone too fast, and got some nice little cuts due to it. As it stands now I have learned to take my time, and almost look at shaving as a meditation. Suffice it to say, last night I had my first full pass without a nick, and I am thouroughly pleased. I won my first ebay auction and am waiting it's arrival in the mail. The seller had 100% positive feedback, and quite a lot of sales under their belt, so I am optimistic. I am hoping to restore that blade, and now I am in the market for something cheap to practice stropping as I do not want to ruin a good blade while learning. In a short ammount of time I have found the art of shaving to be envigorating and relaxing all at the same time. I am lookign forward to maybe trying my hand at some restorations, as well as handmaking some of my own scales. If I do either, I will defenitley share with the community, as that's what we are all here for right?! Well that was quite a long intro, and in an effort to avoid turning this into my my first novel and needing a copyright, lets move on to a few questions I have :

    1. Are there any resources to locate a barber near you that does facial shaves with a straight? I have made a lot of calls, and asked around, but have only found 1 and it is quite a distance from where I live. I was mainly intersted in getting a shave to start so I could feel first hand what the final objective would be and know what I needed to work towards.

    2. Is there any resource for actual shaving supply stores? I know all the equipment and supplies can be easily purchased on the internet, but I have always been the type that like to go into a store and see the products first hand, ask questions, etc.

    3. How long can whiskers get before they are too long to shave before trimming? Should they always short, or can they be long, as long as you have prepped your beard and have a good lather that has been worked all the way to the skin?

    I am sure I will have more questions as time goes on, but I will leave it as is for now. Thank you everyone, I look forward to my time on these forums, as well as my time shaving !

  2. #2
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    10,448
    Thanked: 2738

    Default Newbie in PA

    Hello, Vidiot:

    Welcome to the world of straight razor shaving and to Straight Razor Place. Before you do anything else, look around the SRP site, especially the Wiki, for mounds of information. Also, you can view several videos on shaving, stropping, creating lather, and so on.

    When you feel you are ready for a regular straight razor, you will find scores of reputable vendors offering everything you need, including starter kits with straight razor, strop, brush and a few other essentials. There are many fine new razors available in the $80 range. You can also buy a fine shave ready razor from the SRP classified section.

    If I were starting out, I would stay away from Ebay. Many fine vendors advertise on SRP and they will help you out from A to Z. Make sure you purchase a razor that has been honed professionally. Many shavers believe factory edges are not sharp enough and that the razor should be sharpened professionally.

    Some local barbershops still give straight razor shaves, as I understand it. Most, however, if not all, as I again understand, use only the straight razor with replaceable blades. State law dictates such practices in many places.

    So get started. Keep the razor pressure low; watch your razor angle; take your time; be methodical; throw away the clock and master the art at your own pace and within your own capabilities; and, most of all, try to make your wet and straight razor shave into an enjoyable ritual.

    One more thing: If I were just starting out, I would concentrate on learning the art and craft of straight razor shaving before tackling my own restoration and honing. There is plenty of time for that.

    Regards,

    Obie

  3. #3
    Texas Guy from Missouri LarryAndro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,135
    Thanked: 252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vidiot View Post
    ... I am in the market for something cheap to practice stropping as I do not want to ruin a good blade while learning. ...
    Send me a private message, and I will get your address. I have several junk pile razors, and I will send you one for practice.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jleeg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    404
    Thanked: 47

    Default

    Welcome! I too am from Pennsylvania. Where are you located? I'd be happy to help out to the extent that I am able. I have some antique blades that I've found in flea markets and restored to excellent shave quality, but am still in the learning phase myself having begun but 1 yr ago.

    I know a few vendors with shops in PA, but I have not found anything like the array of items you can find with some of the vendors who you'll come to learn through this site. I'd be happy to share my brick-and-mortar experiences; I think you may change your mind about shopping the internet. But, that said, there readily available drug store items like balms and aftershaves, and high-end colognes that are available from stores you can find.

    I have not found any barbers who are "old school" with skills better than many of the folks here. My barber gets a blade sharp enough to handle the back of my neck, but I've seen his equipment, watched him strop, felt his lather, and will never have him approach my face! You might get lucky in your search, but learn here first, in my opinion.

    And yes, you can shave beards with a straight. Somewhere around here is a great video of a guy making short order of a long beard with apparent ease.

    Best....

    Jim

  5. #5
    Newbie in training and proud geek Vidiot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    11
    Thanked: 1

    Default Thank you again

    Thanks for the welcome everyone !

    I will take all the advice to heart and am always willing to try anything someone who has been doing this for some time will suggest. It doesn't mean I will always do it that way, as we are all different and what works for some, may nto work for others. I will be taking my time to develop my tecnique before gettign too overboard, but I have found it so enjoyable and experience it is hard not to get enthusiastic. When I am shaving, everything else kind of fades away. Problems become smaller, or non-existant, frustrations slide right off my shoulders, and it is just me and my razor in a stare down contest against my whiskers. I think you all know who is winning that one ! As for ebay, I am nto expecting anything spectacular. I just made sure I watched persistantly and made my move at the right time for a reputable name at a good price. If anythign else, I will get to know how a real razor feels in the hand and get a chance to examine one up close to look for the finer details that do not show up in photos or video. It turns out my step-father has a few classics that belonged to his dad ( I am going to try to see if he may be persuaded to let them go to a good cause !) and my wifes grandmother still has all the razors that blonged to her father that may be coming my way as well. We shall see what the future brings. The whole experince is almost zen like. I used to hate shaving, and woudl do it once every few weeks if that. I would curse my hair for growing so fast. Now it can't grown fast enough ! What !? I have to wait 2 whole days to have enough stubble to shave again ?!

    But thank you again all for the advice, the encouragement, and the community for those who want to learn the art of straight razor shaving. I have a feeling this practice will get much more popular in the years to come, and those here that are carrying on old traditions are going to be the pioneers of the next wave of traditional gentlemen. I know I for one am now looking forward to teaching my son the proper way to shave when he gets older and passing down my razor for the next generation. Kudos to you all !

  6. #6
    Hones/Honing/Master Barber avatar1999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Waynesboro, PA
    Posts
    997
    Thanked: 199
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default

    welcome to the forums! Lots of good people here.

    I also live in PA and would be glad to help anyway I can. Next week I'll be commuting to Harrisburg during the week for barber school. Maybe eventually those of us around here can try together. It qould be nice I think

  7. #7
    Senior Member jleeg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    404
    Thanked: 47

    Default

    Avatar, where are you going to school? Will this be your principal avocation?

    Good luck with the snow!!

  8. #8
    Wander Woman MistressNomad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Minneapolis, at the moment.
    Posts
    367
    Thanked: 160

    Default

    Welcome, Vidiot!

    These kind gents have already given you lots of great advice. But I just wanted to say Evangelion is awesome.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •